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Friday, April 12, 2024
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Your Wisconsin voting questions, answered

Here’s what UW-Madison students need to know before election day.

Election day is Tuesday, Nov. 8. Here’s what you need to know before you vote:

Am I eligible to vote?

Any U.S. citizen who will be 18 years old by Election Day, has lived in Wisconsin for at least 28 consecutive days and is not currently serving a felony sentence — including probation or parole — is eligible to vote in the Nov. 8 midterms.

How can in-state students register to vote? 

Wisconsin residents can register to vote online, by mail or by registering in person either at their local clerk’s office or at their polling place on the day of the election. Voters wishing to register online or by mail must do so by 5 p.m. on Oct. 19. Voters can still register at the Madison City Clerk’s office after Oct. 19, but registration must be completed by Friday, Nov. 4. All registrants must have a voter-compliant photo ID and proof of Wisconsin residence. 

How can out-of-state students register to vote? 

If you are registering to vote in Wisconsin but reside in another state, you must have resided in Wisconsin for at least 28 days leading up to the Nov. 8 election. You must also have a voter-compliant photo ID, which includes U.S. Passports but does not include Wiscards. If you don’t have a passport, you can get a UW-Madison voter-compliant student ID card at Once you get your ID, you must still register to vote either in-person, online or by mail before or on election day.

How can I get an absentee ballot?

When applying for an absentee ballot online, you must provide proof of identification. Once you receive your absentee ballot in the mail, you must vote and have a witness sign your ballot. Your witness can be any U.S. citizen 18 years of age or older. 

How do I change my voting address? 

You can change your voting address by mail or in-person at the clerk’s office with an attached proof of residence document. Acceptable documents include utility bills, lease forms, bank statements, a government-issued check, a credit card or a valid Wisconsin driver’s license in electronic or paper form. Your name and current address must be included in your proof of residence. 

How do I vote early?

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You can vote early in Wisconsin at the clerk’s office or at a pop-up location designated by your municipal clerk’s office. Early voting starts two weeks before the election, and the last day to complete early voting is the Friday before the election. Early in-person absentee ballot voting is available Monday through Friday at Memorial Union and Union South from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., beginning on Oct. 25 and ending on Nov. 4.

How can I become a poll worker?

To become a poll worker in Wisconsin, you must have resided in your election district for 28 days, and you must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 18 years or older and capable of fluently reading and writing in English. Poll workers will receive training before Election Day. City of Madison poll workers currently earn $14.01 per hour.

Can I be excused from classes to work the polls?

Yes. According to UW-Madison policy, students who notify their instructors of their commitment to work as an election official at least two weeks prior to election day will not receive a grade deduction for missing class. Instructors are also required to keep election days free of major assignments when possible.  

Where can I find my polling site?

You can find your polling site by searching your voting address at

What if I have a question that wasn’t answered?

Visit to learn more about voting at UW-Madison.

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